Some men seemingly go out of their way to demonstrate how vile and repulsive they are. Case in point, “stealthing.” For the uninitiated, stealthing is the act of removing the condom during sexual intercourse without the permission of your partner. Guys who engage in stealthing, who want to engage in stealthing, or who even just defend the act of stealthing are guys I do not want anywhere near my daughter. In fact, I find stealthing so abhorrent that I even partly agree with HuffPost on the issue.
Reporting that both Wisconsin and California are moving forward with legislation to label stealthing as sexual assault and punish it accordingly, HuffPost writer Jenavieve Hatch adds that “one expert in the field of sexual assault prevention and awareness isn’t convinced that legislation like this will have a profound effect on the issue.” Hatch continues her article by expressing agreement with the expert and suggesting that education and classes will make for a better deterrent than legislation. As I said, I agree in part with Hatch.
When she writes, “Leaving the issue of sexual violence up to the legal system works much like placing a Band-Aid over a broken bone ― it’s a small gesture that doesn’t truly fix the problem,” I agree. Legislation has never been the best solution to the problem of sin. But, then again, and this is where I part ways with Hatch, education and classes have not provided a lasting solution to the problem of sin, either. All human solutions to combatting sin are like “placing a Band-Aid over a broken bone.”
Make no mistake, stealthing is a sin before God, first and foremost. It’s also a violent sin against the victim and can appropriately be labeled sexual assault (even though I believe that “rape culture” is ironing any meaning out of the word “rape”). I support legislation to define it and codify punishment because sin deserves punishment, whether that punishment actually deters criminals or not. Sin has consequences. However, legislation is not going to solve the problem.
To truly combat and put an end to stealthing, or any sexual violence, for that matter, repentance of sins and submission to God are necessary.
In the very beginning, God established marriage and the marriage bed (sex) to be between one man and one woman. Anything outside of that is rebellion against God, and rebellion against God is how sin is defined in the Bible.
Humans sin because our hearts are deceitful and are oriented to desiring to be gods over our own lives; we want to set the terms by which we live. The only way that our hearts can be changed and reoriented back to our Creator, causing us to acknowledge His sovereign claims over our life, is repentance of our sins and placing our faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as our only hope in life and death. Until individuals do that, their heart will continually seek to fulfill their desires first and foremost above all else. This is why humans seek to dominate and hurt other humans. Sexual violence is no different.
To make matters worse, our wholesale acceptance of sexual deviancy, which includes sex outside of the bounds of marriage, allows lustful hearts free rein to pursue lust to its most tragic ends. In Romans chapter one, the apostle Paul twice writes that when societies reject God, people will be given up to the deepest, darkest aspects of lust. Men who refuse to acknowledge God’s authority over their sexuality, including the command to abstain from sex outside of the marriage bed, may be given over to believing that they have the right to sexually assault women.
Neither legislation nor further education will keep men from sexually assaulting women through the abhorrent act of stealthing. Only repentance of sins and faith in Jesus that produces a Holy Spirit-wrought change at the heart level will truly keep men from stealthing and other forms of sexual assault against women.